The premise, two guys planning to commit murder for each other, would work better in a serious movie. The comedy genre doesn’t do it justice. Perhaps it’s just the fact that Danny DeVito, who not only stars as a writing student named Owen but also plays the role of director, isn’t that funny. Nor is comedian Billy Crystal, Owen’s college professor, a novelist who hates his ex-wife for taking credit for one of his books and getting famous enough to go on Oprah for it.
Owen hates his mother and for a good reason. She’s an old decrepit bitch. Though he takes care of her on a daily basis; he cooks meals for her, gives her baths and even gets wax-balls out of her ears; she treats him like dirt. Instead of having her taken away to a nursing home or simply moving out of the house, he invertedly comes-up with the idea to have her killed by Owen in exchange for killing Owen’s ex-wife; an idea that comes from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
It’s the wacky ways in which the two protagonists go about their plan that’s disappointing. There are some laughs, mostly centering around “Momma” and her blatant grumpiness, but those laughs are far and few between. Most of the comedy is slapstick hack. The dark underlying and the little bit of suspense it provides is what keeps things interesting. I just wish there were more of it and less Billy Crystal falling down the stairs or being smacked in the head with a frying pan.
my rating : 3 of 5